“No Tower Coalition” shows City a serious alternative to tower at Venables & Commercial

No Tower logo July 2016NEWS RELEASE

Tuesday, June 19, 2016

NO TOWER PRESENTS COMPREHENSIVE AND PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE FOR VENABLES AND COMMERCIAL TO CITY PLANNERS

Vancouver. NO TOWER volunteers met with Vancouver planners July 15, 2016 to present a practical plan for the Commercial and Venables site in Grandview‐Woodland.

The NO TOWER plan outlines in detail how the Kettle Friendship Society can build its own six storey building on the north section of the site, on land currently owned by the City of Vancouver. The building would provide all the space the Kettle needs for services and 30 units of studio housing, plus 21 one, two and three bedroom rental apartments for the community at “low end of market” rental rates.

The NO TOWER plan also proposes the creation of a public “piazza” by closing (old) Commercial Drive between Venables and Adanac, to create a new pedestrian-only public space in park-deficient Grandview-Woodland.

Following city’s release of the Draft Community Plan for Grandview-Woodland, it has become clear that planners are open to creating two separate developments on this site, the coalition notes. “This provides an excellent opportunity to propose a completely separate building for the Kettle which would not require a partnership with a for-profit developer, ” says NO TOWER spokesperson Barbara Cameron.

Financing for the Kettle building would come from a variety of sources including the city land, on a leased basis, the Kettle’s own equity contributions, and financing from CMHC seed funding and new affordable housing investment funding and BC Housing affordable housing initiative funding recently announced. This could be augmented by social purpose investors who are currently contributing to other affordable housing developments in the city.

There are many benefits to this approach, notes Cameron, including the ability of the Kettle to retain long-term control over its own operations and the addition of much-needed affordable, family-sized rental units in Grandview-Woodland.

The proposal also meets the City of Vancouver’s own housing goals by increasing the supply of affordable rental housing and maintaining the existing inclusive community around Commercial Drive.

“We were very encouraged by our meeting with planners,” says Cameron. “ There is much we have in common here and we hope to continue towards this positive solution, which could be a big win for the city, the Kettle and the community.”

See details of our proposals for the Kettle building and the piazza at www.novenablestower.com

Contact: notower@telus.net

 

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